Everybody is different, with a perspective related to their own different upbringing and experiences. Mine has led me to experience events in life which people traditionally look forward to differently. For me, these things which people look forward, I did not.
Birthdays. Mine being on January 4th. This is a time families often go in holiday. Thus, when I was younger and my parents very carefully organised a party, there were sometimes not many able to attend. This led to me not looking forward to my birthday as it reminded me of times friends were not around.
I enjoy the act of giving, yet, cooking was not one of my favourite things to do. Even though cooking is helpful to both others and myself. I am slowly changing this mindset. This I think stems from struggling to try new things, which for many people is exciting. I have certain desserts and one kind of biscuit I make. I’m comfortable they’ll turn out well. When it comes to baking other tasty treats like cakes, in the past I would seldom attempt a new recipe. Slowly I am improving my success rate. Not of making a world class cake or batch of baking, but of saying “yes, I will try something new and enjoy the process regardless of the result.” It helps when the end product tastes good, but I remind myself it’s ok when it doesn’t. It is a learning experience.
Dancing is something I can learn to do as there are steps to follow, and there steps go in a particular order. Easy to follow instructions when you know them. Dancing is also a mountain of fun with the right people, and is a great way to get a workout. Over time I learning to loosen up my limbs and let the music drive my movement, even when I’m not at an event one would call a dance.
Each of these changes has required active mental effort, acknowledging there is benefit from diving in head first to try new things – or feet first as the case may be! I will fail to accomplish what I set out to sometimes. This is ok. This is good. It provides opportunity for me to learn. Learning is one of the main ways we empower ourselves to grow as a person. Making a conscious choice to try something again when I don’t succeed can be difficult. Especially if it is something I’m not confident with, like dancing, or baking, or letting people know how I feel, or eating fruit. Leaning into this unfamiliarity provides opportunity for unexpected success, and will provide a spark for trying new things in the future. There will be a “yes! I did that!” memory present in my mind in amongst all the flotsam of the easier to say and do “no, I will take the safe option.” I will remember each of these successful journeys.
There will be times saying yes is not appropriate. There will be times we would try something we want to but we do not have the energy reserves to say yes. There will be times we accidentally say no when we meant to say yes, for whatever reason. Our answer at a particular time is just that: our answer at a particular time. It does not have to stay the same. We are allowed to give ourselves time to think. This can be a few hours, a few days, a few months, or even a few years. This is ok. The world changes. We change.
It’s ok to ask for time to think.
If we invite someone to try something new, be patient and encouraging. If it’s not something they want to do that’s cool, there are a lot of things to try in the world and not enough time to try every one. Ask with a generous heart and an approachable demeanour so they can answer truthfully from their heart.
What is something you’ve always wanted to try? Is there opportunity to do it this week? Has somebody invited you to try something new that might be fun? What would happen if you tried it just once?
I pray for courage to lean into unfamiliar territory with all your heart, mind, body, and soul.
Be good, keep good and sleep good, dear readers. Peace.